Who are my favorite writers? Other travelers. Just regular people who become great writers by traveling well and sharing their feelings and discoveries thoughtfully.
I’m home for a week before continuing my 2019 travels, and I’ve been catching up on my mail. I’ve been inspired by many of the emails I’ve read, such as this one from Don, who shared how — even when he found himself in a tourist trap — he was able to dig deep and connect with the locals. Thanks for the trip report, Don. Keep on travelin’.
Hiya Rick, wherever you are. I am ten days and many pints in on a 30-day tour of Ireland, with no car (never learned to drive) and nothing but your guidebook to lead me. So far it’s been great following your advice…Dublin, Kilkenny, Cashel, Kinsale, (all surprisingly easy to connect without a car). But now I find myself spending a night in Killarney–for which your book offers the sorry traveler who lands there no tips and only pity. Believe me, it was out of necessity. And as I looked for a pub this evening I thought, “Oh, I see what Rick means”. Even though Kinsale was totally overrun with Yanks, it was nothing like this. If Disneyland had an Ireland, it would be modelled on Killarney. Okay…what to do? I’ve been to John Cleere’s Pub in Kilkenny and I’m headed for Dingel next, so I don’t need live music. I veer off to the side streets in search of somwhere real and decided to trade music for sports. First pub I find that fits the bill is called Dan Linehan’s. Sure enough, here’s where the locals are. You know you’re in the right place when there are betting slips on the bar, next to the beer mats. Kids next to me say hi and before you know it one tells the tender, “Another for us, please. And whatever the American is drinking”. After they leave I wander some more and across the road from the chippie they recommended (great chips), I sniff out another place–The Luane. It’s not packed with Americans…in fact there’s not even one. I order a pint and actually get mistaken for a local. This guy was surprised when I said, “Me? A local? I just got here this morning.”. So, my point is…even in Killarney, it’s possible for guys like us to have a good time. Just gotta find the back door.